I'm always trying to figure out how to see another National Park in my free time. I've grown to love National Monuments and Reserves just as much. I spend a lot of time looking over maps, figuring out gas mileage, and planning my next trip. However, some trips, like this one, are spur of the moment. My sister and I randomly decided to take a road trip (never waste a day!) & I knew City of Rocks was only 3 hours away in Idaho.
City of Rocks is in a rather remote part of Idaho. Idaho interstates have more "Stay Alert", "High Wind Area", and "Frequent Wildlife Crossing" signs than I did gas stations. However, Idaho is one freaking beautiful state, and the drive to City of Rocks takes you through some beautiful backcountry.
There is a small visitor center, which was closed when we arrived. In the parking lot were some covered wagons and signs detailing life in the area. City of Rocks is part of the California Trail. Upon entering the reserve you are greeted by a rock house from 1904.
City of Rocks has a lot of history meshed with natural beauty. You can see signatures in axle grease written upon rocks- one mainly Register Rock- and imagine what life would've been like for those traveling through.
There are tons of places to explore and hike in City of Rocks. We walked to Window Arch, about 300 yards from a parking area, and continued on until the rocks became impassable. I also climbed up series of large boulders (against my better judgement) but the views were spectacular.
If you're in the area, or even 4 hours away, City of Rocks has to be on your list of places to visit. Northern Utahns have no excuse to drive the couple of hours up and see it for themselves.